‘I’ll just do it myself,’ you mutter with your last breath.  Sound familiar?

Recent surveys give us insight into how small business owners use their time.  One thing everyone agrees on is that there is never enough of that precious “time.” Let’s face it: we all have been there.  You know, we sacrificed sleep to complete that very important presentation.  We fill our days serving as salesman, marketers, accountants, receptionists, and office managers to complete a task we know someone else would be more suitable.  Day in and day out, we wear all the hats and spin all the plates – and with limited time, energy, and resources to get everything done.  No matter where you are on the scale of your business, delegation is very much needed, and it is a learned skill.  We must convince ourselves that we are not willing to delegate to others “those tasks” we believe no one else can do like us.  So, we keep on doing them ourselves.

38% of small business owners confirmed that their time is the most valuable asset to their business

It’s time to learn how to be a better delegator. What will separate the winners from the losers? The ability to delegate. Understanding the value of your time and expertise is the best starting point. Knowing which responsibilities, you need to get off your plate and delegate to someone else is crucial. When you remove the non-essential duties, you will be able to focus your attention on your business and see that you can generate more revenues to the bottom line. However, getting to the level of increased revenues sounds good but starting the process of delegating tasks may not necessarily come naturally to most people; it can feel awkward. So, how do we start the process? What tasks should we delegate? How do we learn to effectively master delegating?

46% of small business owners confirmed that they often fill in 3 to 4 different employee roles on any given day.

Congratulations! You have accepted that it’s time to get delegating started! As you think these through you can use our free What Can I Delegate? Worksheet to keep a record of the tasks you choose to delegate. Consider these as types of tasks as ones you can delegate:

  • Delegate small, seemingly inconsequential tasks that are easy to put off – but add up. They aren’t important or urgent, and often only take a few minutes.
  • Delegate repetitive data entry tasks: these are relatively simple but not the best use of your time.
  • Delegate time-consuming tasks that are often important and complex, but you could delegate 80 percent of the research and execution and then assume the final 20 percent for approval.
  • Delegate teachable tasks. These tasks may seem difficult but can be delegated once you’ve taught the basics, while you again reserve your 20 percent for approval.
  • Delegate tasks outside your scope of knowledge. Those tasks that would require lots of hours for you to complete due to your lack of skills or knowledge can easily be completed by someone in that area or field.
  • Delegate tasks outside your scope of knowledge. Those tasks that would require lots of hours for you to complete due to your lack of skills or knowledge can easily be completed by someone in that area or field.
    Delegate Time-Sensitive tasks so you can focus on project-based deadlines.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn

Now let’s get started, it is now time to practice the art of letting go. Very much like the concept of delegating, the actual act of “letting go” can be most difficult. Are superheroes born or created? When inviting a virtual team member, you need to have faith in your system. You must trust in your ability to teach someone else how to become awesome at what you can do, understanding and believing that your virtual support person can do it as well as you can, if not better! We are not born with all knowledge, we learn it, so don’t get frustrated when your virtual support member does not know everything instantly.

Train your virtual assistant so that she becomes your superhero enabling her to complete specific tasks within her talents and knowledge. If you truly take the time to train and help her understand your business’ processes and culture, then you will already have built the foundations for a strong partnership. Be willing to teach, invest time in proper onboarding and training in the short term, it may appear to be more work, but long-term will prove to be smooth sailing.

Likewise, you must make your new sidekick feel as though she is a part of your team. You will discover that she will become more loyal and hardworking by feeling included. Adding in good communication to the mix is another important element. Good communication serves to bridge between doubt and clarity; and yes, sometimes it is okay to over-communicate. Your new sidekick will not know the details of your business nor your style or how you think, so you must be extremely specific and allow time for them to adapt to your systems and processes. Your goal must be to establish clarity, expectations, and directions. It may be difficult to accept that the task won’t be done exactly as you would do it and with the same degree of – perceived – perfection. But know what it will be DONE.

Develop your processes for how your business operates and tasks your virtual assistant will be completed for you. Use tools such as Trello, LastPass, MyHours, and Google drive to help stay connected.  The progress of the tasks or projects can be updated in real-time with these tools and you will never have to wonder about the status of the task or feel that you need to micro-manage things to be successful. These tech tools will help you to review, approve, and comment all along the way to completion. Delegation is not just about finding the right person for tasks, it is also about having a clear process, clear understanding, adequate feedback, and well-defined deadlines.

Time is difficult to earn yet very easy to spend. We hear more of someone complaining about not having enough time than having too much of it. As we run our businesses and jungle aspects of our personal lives, there is never enough time to do all that needs doing. Time is an exhaustible resource that must be replenished daily before it can be used again. Time is also volatile and is rarely ever under tight control. Although we may try to use our daily allotted amount of time for the most important or pressing tasks, rarely by the end of the day does it turned out that way. As a business owner, your time should be spent on things where the outcomes rely on your talent and expertise. You should also be able to invest trust in people who will prove to be an asset to your business. Consider delegation an opportunity to empower and lead others to grow. And as a BONUS! – it gives you the opportunity to grow yourself and your business, too. Win-win!

Ready to let someone help you shoulder your load by being a better delegator?

Empower yourself and delegate to MINEYoBiz. 

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